Tag Archive: arrests

An alleged student of slain Malaysian bomb expert Marwan who is himself wanted for carrying out bombings, was arrested in Panaon, Misamis Occidental, Saturday afternoon, a police official said.

Arrested was Abdul Malik Sali, a member of the Al Khobar group, Northern Mindanao regional police director Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz said.

Elements of the Panaon Police and the PNP’s anti-terror Special Project: Mindanao Khilafah Islamiyah arrested Sali at a checkpoint along the National Highway around 5:30 p.m., Cruz said in a text message.

Operatives carried out the arrest on warrants for multiple murder with frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder, he said.

Sali is believed to be behind two bombing incidents in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, and Digos City, Davao del Sur, where several lives were lost, Cruz said.

He is a “member of the Al Khobar terrorist group under the umbrella of the group of Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan,” the police official said.

Sali’s arrest came almost two months after Marwan, a suspect in the deadly 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia, was killed in a raid by the PNP Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last January 25.

The raid, however, also cost the lives of 44 SAF members as armed Moro groups ganged up on the police commandos.

In 2008, the Department of Interior and Local Government announced a P400,000 reward for anyone who can help authorities capture Sali, one of the suspects in the bombing of a Metro Shuttle Bus in September 1 that year.

The incident killed at least five people and injured 30 others.

Same bounties were offered for Sali’s fellow bombing suspects Mahir Abu Bakr and Jonaria Mindiba.

Al Khobar is a group of extortionists based in the marshlands of Maguindanao and are responsible for the spate of bombings in Central Mindanao since 2006, according to a statement issued by the PNP in 2013.

The group was allegedly created to support the Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah and other foreign militant jihadist groups.

It was intended to serve as a special unit concentrating on using explosives and carrying out extortion schemes across Cotabato, until it transformed into a kidnap-for-ransom gang and, much later, into an extortion group, according to the police statement. (John Roson)

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Authorities arrested the leader of the so-called “Martilyo Gang” during an operation in Ozamis City Friday morning, police said.

Glenn Tayrus was arrested at a popular fastfood chain’s branch along Don Bernad ave. around 9 a.m., Northern Mindanao regional police director Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz said.

Elements of the Cagayan de Oro City Police, Regional Public Safety Battalion, Regional Special Operations Group, and 10th Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit carried out the arrest on a warrant for robbery with violence against persons, Cruz said.

Tayrus is one of the principal suspects in robbing a branch of the Development Bank of the Philippines and a pawnshop in Cagayan de Oro in November 2013 and December 2014, respectively, he said.

Tayrus is tagged as the National Police’s most wanted person among crime groups, being the leader of the Martilyo Gang that operates nationwide, Cruz said, citing records of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

The gang, whose members use hammers in staging holdups, has been blamed for two heists inside the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City in January and December 2013.

It can be recalled that those incidents had prompted the National Capital Region Police to ask mall managements to control, if not prohibit, the sale of hammers inside their premises. (John Roson)

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Palparan falls

Authorities arrested former Army general Jovito Palparan in Manila, early Tuesday, three years after he went into hiding, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.

Palparan, charged with two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, was arrested at a house near corner Teresa and Old Sta. Mesa streets in Sta. Mesa district around 3:30 a.m., Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), said in a briefing.

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), backed by operatives of the Naval Intelligence and Security Force (NISF), carried out the arrest, Año said.

Palparan was arrested after he returned from withdrawing money at an automated teller machine (ATM) kiosk, Año said.

“He has been staying at the house for more than three months… Hindi nakapangalan sa kanya ‘yung ATM (card),” the military intelligence chief said.

The house is owned by one Grace Roa, a “long-time friend” of Palparan’s family, and is located at “busy area” with taxi and jeepney terminals nearby, Año said.

He said it was up to the NBI to determine if Roa should be charged for harboring Palparan.

Palparan’s case stemmed from the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño in Hagonoy, Bulacan, in 2006, when he was still head of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division.

He has been on the run since 2011, after being formally charged at a court in Malolos City, also in Bulacan. 

President Benigno Aquino’s administration has since listed Palparan, who was once praised by former President Gloria Arroyo for successful operations against rebels, as among the country’s top fugitives and placed a P2-million bounty on his head.

“‘Yung informant ng NISF ang makakatangap ng kanyang reward,” said Año, who also heads the military’s Task Force Runway.

The task force was created in 2012 to gather intelligence information that could lead to the capture of high-profile fugitives, including Palparan.

Hunt not easy, Palparan congratulates captors

Año admitted that the hunt for Palparan was not easy, saying “many attempts” were made to arrest the latter in Bataan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, and even in Cagayan de Oro City, but failed.

“He (Palparan) can hide inside a house for days without getting sunshine, he can be very patient not to communicate with family and friends,” Año said.

But at the time of the arrest, Palparan did not resist and even congratulated troops for finally being able to trace him, he said.

“General Palparan really did not resist the arrest. In fact, he was joking with our operatives and he was saying, ‘Ang gagaling ninyo, naisahan nyo ako kasi naging very lax ako,'” Año said.

Año said he was also able to check on Palparan personally, and the latter also congratulated him.

“Sabi niya he is okay, he even congratulated me. Sabi ko, no sir, it’s not about that, it’s looking at your situation now. Sabi naman niya nagpapasalamat na rin sya at nahuli siya, now he can have a proper medical checkup and he can have his day in court,” Año said.

“What I learned is he has some heart problem and he is also diabetic and mataas ‘yung blood pressure,” he added.

Año admitted to having worked with Palparan in some military conferences during his younger years, but said he had not been  assigned under the latter’s command.

‘Surrender feelers’

In a separate interview, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin revealed that Palparan previously expressed willingness to surrender to President Aquino.

“Gusto niyang magsurrender kay Pangulo. Ang sabi ko naman kay Pangulo, bakit sayo magsu-surrender, sa amin na lang, nung sinabi kong sa amin na lang, wala na, nagtago na… Last year pa yata ‘yun,” Gazmin told reporters.

Año said the military has monitored several threats by the New People’s Army (NPA) on Palparan, even when the latter was still an active military officer.

“He (Palparan) has been a subject of manhunt by the NPA… in three occassions, the NPA, especially the special operations group, got close to him but fortunately he was saved because he has his security and he was also changing his pattern,” Año said.

He said the military has made initial coordinations with the NBI on how to ensure that Palparan’s security.

‘No military coddlers’

Major General Domingo Tutaan, Armed Forces spokesman, said Palparan’s arrest in the “interior area” of Sta. Mesa proves that the military was not coddling the former officer.

“May mga nagsasabi kasi na tinatago siya ng AFP, so eto ngayon, hindi pala totoo,” he said.

“I don’t think this will in any way tarnish the image of the AFP,” Tutaan said when asked on the arrest of Palparan, a former officer evidently still held in esteem by many soldiers.

“He (Palparan) has many friends in the military because he was very good officer when he was in the service, but nobody from the AFP is coddling him,” Año said.

Palparan’s arrest “will also allow him to defend himself from all the criminal charges filed against him and face his accusers in court. This will also protect him from the New People’s Army that has a standing order to have him killed,” AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said for his part. (John Roson)

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Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) freed five persons, including a former vice-mayor, after “arresting” them in Baloi, Lanao del Norte, the military said Saturday.

Former Baloi Vice Mayor Abdullah Balas, Brgy. Cadayunan chairman Mohammad Amer Arumpac, former Brgy. East Poblacion chairman Salonga Pacuti, and two other civilians were freed 5:30 p.m. Friday, Army 1st Infantry Division spokesman Capt. Jefferson Somera said.

Members of the MILF seized the five past 6 p.m. Thursday during a “saturation drive” in Brgy. Poblacion East, he said.

Fully-armed MILF members led by Commander Abdul Jalal Macalunto of the North Western Mindanao Front forcibly took the five and brought them to their camp in Lanao del Sur, Somera said.

“‘Yung MILF kasi, nagko-conduct ng saturation drive, tinawag nila na anti-drugs saka anti-gambling saturation, ‘yun ang sabi nila,” he said.

Somera, however, said the military believes that the incident was a case of “kidnapping” as the victims’ families were reported to have paid money for their release.

“Nalaman namin na bago na-release, nag-ransom ng P15,000 each, so we believe na simple kidnapping ‘yun,” he said.

Somera said the military is leaving it to the police to determine if the incident will be considered as a kidnapping case. (John Roson)

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Fifteen minutes into the election gun ban period, a man apprehended for urinating in public in Pasay City became the ban’s first arrested violator after police found an MK2 fragmentation grenade inside his pants.

Bernato Daria alias Tangoy, a member of the “BCJ” gang, was apprehended around 12:15 a.m. at the corner of EDSA and M. Dela Cruz st., National Capital Region Police Office chief Dir. Leonardo Espina said.

Roving members of the Pasay City Police Community Precinct 7 arrested Daria after he was seen urinating in full view of the public, a violation of City Ordinance No. 1572, Espina said.

When frisked by policemen, a live MK2 fragmentation grenade was found inside Daria’s pants, prompting the lawmen to also arrest the latter for violating the Omnibus Election Code, the NCRPO chief said.

The police and military, under the supervision of the Commission on Elections, started implementing the gun ban 12 a.m. Sunday. (John Roson)

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Felimon Mendrez. (file photo from Central Visayas regional police)

Felimon Mendrez. (file photo from Central Visayas regional police)

Government troops arrested a ranking New People’s Army (NPA) leader labeled as the country’s sixth most wanted man during an operation in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, on Tuesday morning, military officials said.

Felimon Mendrez, commander of the NPA Kilusang Rehiyon Negros’ Regional Strike Force, was arrested in Brgy. Tubod around 10 a.m., Col. Francisco Zosimo Patrimonio, commander of the Army’s 302nd Brigade, said.

Operatives of the 302nd Brigade, 33rd Military Intelligence Company, 11th Infantry Battalion, and the Negros Oriental Provincial Police carried out the arrest on warrants for robbery in band and rebellion, Patrimonio said in a text message.

Mendrez, who uses the aliases Tatay and Edon, is number 6 in the police’s most wanted list and has a P5.25-million bounty on his head, said Maj. Enrico Ileto, spokesman of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Before holding his current position in the rebel movement, Mendrez served as head of the NPA Central Visayas’ Front Committee 2 and deputy head of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ Central Visayas Revolutionary Party Committee, Ileto said.

Mendrez had led some successful tactical offensives against troops in Negros Island and other areas of Central Visayas, Patrimonio said.

“The arrest will certainly give a better opportunity for us in Central Visayas to celebrate the holidays more peacefully,” Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta, commander of the 3rd ID, said.

“Law enforcement operations” shall continue even as troops observe a suspension of offensive military operations, Mabanta added. (John Roson)

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Government troops foiled an attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Quezon, arresting three members of the rebel group who were carrying firearms and explosives in San Francisco town Friday night, the military said.

Arrested were Dennis Quidor, team leader of an NPA “special operations unit;” and Rodrigo Guevarra and Eliseo Lopez, both new “full-time” members of the rebel group, Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command spokesman Col. Generoso Bolina said.

Authorities also took into custody Alex Herez and Ariel Bordane, both residents of San Francisco who were hired by the rebels as drivers, Bolina said in a text message.

The five were apprehended around 11 p.m., when the two motorcycles they were riding passed through a checkpoint manned by soldiers and policemen, he said.

The motorcycles earlier avoided another checkpoint at the military patrol base in Brgy. Ilayang Tayuman, also in the same town, Bolina said.

Quidor, Guevarra, and Lopez were carrying bags that contained an improvised explosive device, a hand grenade, seven blasting caps, an improvised caliber-.22 gun, a loaded M16 rifle magazine, loaded caliber-.45 pistol magazine, poncho, and subversive documents, he said.

“Accordingly, the three were tasked to conduct a ‘final reconnaissance’ before the rebels stage attacks in the towns of Mulanay, San Francisco, and San Narciso,” Bolina said.

Quidor, Guevarra, and Lopez, as well as Herez and Bordane, remain under custody while charges are being prepared, according to the regional military spokesman. (John Roson)

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Backhoe man seeks witness protection

The alleged operator of the backhoe used to bury victims of the Maguindanao massacre has applied for the Department of Justice’s witness protection program (WPP), a police official said.

Bong Andal asked the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to provide him and his family security while he is waiting for the result of his application for the WPP, Dir. Samuel Pagdilao, head of the CIDG, said.

Andal earlier issued a statement saying that he is willing to provide testimonies regarding the 2009 massacre in Brgy. Salman, Ampatuan, Pagdilao said.

Andal, accused of burying half of the 56 massacre victims using a backhoe owned by the Maguindanao provincial government, was arrested on Saturday in Brgy. Kapinpilan, Midsayap, North Cotabato.

He was flown to Manila and brought to the CIDG headquarters in Camp Crame on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the prosecution raised the issue on Andal’s safety and asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to send him either to the PNP Custodial Center or the CIDG’s detention facility, Pagdilao said. (John Roson)

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An alleged Abu Sayyaf member wanted for several kidnapping incidents and the Lamitan Siege was arrested inside a mall in Zamboanga City on Tuesday, police said.

Algaber Said, who has a P600,000 bounty on his head, was arrested at the Gateway Mall around 10:30 a.m., PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo said.

Members of the PNP Special Action Force, Air Force Intelligence and Security Group, and National Bureau of Investigation carried outh the arrest, he said.

Said, who uses the alias Talha, was allegedly involved in the kidnappings in Tumahubong, Golden Harvest Plantation, the Lamitan Siege – all in Basilan – and served as a “spotter” for the Abu Sayyaf’s kidnap-for-ransom activities, Cerbo said.

The suspect has been brought to the NBI Regional Office 9 for investigation, he said. (John Roson)

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Authorities arrested a dentist and three other people after they were caught sniffing shabu inside a drug den in Cotabato City.

Dr. Rainier Masukat, a rural health dentist; Marvin Sinsuat, 40; Rosello Paches, 33; and Von Lluna, 24, were arrested inside the drug den in Brgy. Bagua 3 on Monday, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Arturo Cacdac said.

The illegal facility was discovered after members of the PDEA-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao conducted an entrapment operation against a suspected drug pusher, Cacdac said.

An undercover PDEA agent pretended to buy shabu from “watch-listed” pusher Ricky Cimafranca at the latter’s home, but the target managed to escape after handing over the illegal drug, Cacdac said.

A hot pursuit ensued, prompting other operatives to enter Cimafranca’s house where Masukat and the others were having a “pot session,” he said.

Masukat, Sinsuat, Paches, and Lluna will be charged for visiting the drug den. Cimafranca will be charged for selling dangerous drugs and maintaining a drug den, Cacdac said. (John Roson)

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